US to Issue Work Permits to 500,000 Venezuelans

On Wednesday, the administration of President Joe Biden stated that it plans to grant work permits to roughly 472,000 Venezuelans in the US to temporarily protect them from deportation and allow them to work.

So long as they were in the United States as of July 31, Venezuelans can apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), approximately 243,000 Venezuelans are already protected by TPS. This new act will grant TPS eligibility to around 472,000.

Per a DHS statement, “After reviewing the country conditions in Venezuela and consulting with interagency partners, (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation are warranted based on Venezuela’s increased instability and lack of safety due to the enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions.”

What is TPS?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to nationals of certain countries in cases where those countries are experiencing issues that prevent the nationals from safely returning to them. TPS is typically granted in cases of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters and epidemics, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.

The status can allow protected foreign nationals to seek employment authorization, allowing them to legally remain and work in the US for duration of the TPS designation.

Previously, only Venezuelans who arrived in the US prior to March 2021 qualified for TPS. Allowing those who entered prior to July 31, 2023 to be granted TPS could protect another 229,000 Venezuelan nationals.

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